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Where cases are heard

An action for defamation should be commenced in the place of publication. If the material is published in more than one place, the case should be heard where the harm occasioned by the publication as a whole has its closest connection [see Defamation Act 2005 (SA) s 11].

Where material is published on online, the place of publication is where the material is downloaded, rather than the place where such material is uploaded [see Dow Jones & Co Inc v Gutnick (2002) 210 CLR 575; [2002] HCA 56].

All civil actions for defamation in South Australia are heard by a judge alone, that is, without a jury.

Actions for defamation may be brought in the Supreme, the District or the Magistrates Courts of South Australia. Careful thought should be given to the appropriate court in which to commence a defamation action because of the potential cost penalties if the wrong court is selected.

Where cases are heard  :  Last Revised: Mon Dec 3rd 2018
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.